Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49, loved to dance, so much so that she'd go to nightclubs with her 21-year-old son. They were both at Pulse. She was killed, son Isaiah Henderson survived, her oldest daughter, Khalisha Pressley, told NBC News.
"She was always really cool, but really a mom at the end of the day ... the sweetest lovingest person in the world," Pressley said of her mother, a two-time cancer survivor who had 11 children.
"She was a fighter," lifelong friend Noreen Vaquer told the Orlando Sentinel. "She doesn't take nothing from nobody."
Vaquer, who met McCool when they were kindergartners in Brooklyn, New York, said her friend gave good advice, backed up by life experience.
"She's smart," Vaquer said. "She'll put you right."